Wildcats take care of business with win at Manchester

Published 11:18 am Monday, November 1, 2021

From Staff Reports

MANCHESTER, GA – The Schley County Wildcats (SCHS) traveled up to Manchester, GA on Friday, October 29 and took care of business by defeating the Manchester Blue Devils 24-6.  With the win, SCHS is now 8-1 overall and is now in second place at 5-1 in the GHSA Region 5A-Public standings behind undefeated Macon County (6-0) with one final regular season game remaining before the state playoffs.

“I felt real good about our performance Friday.  We played well in all aspects of the game. Our run defense was spectacular and I felt that we tackled well,” SCHS Head Coach Darren Alford said. “Offensively, our passing game was really sharp. Overall, I think going on the road and winning a tough region game gave us a lot of confidence moving forward.  I don’t think we will have a let down this week and I think our kids will come ready to work.”

SCHS quarterback Jay Kanazawa turned in a tremendous performance for the Wildcats. Kanazawa completed 21 of 29 passes for 210 yards and threw one touchdown pass. Kanazawa got a lot of help from his wide receiving corps, who caught a combined 21 receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown was caught by Junior Clinton Jackson, who caught five passes for 25 yards.

Sophomore Carson Westbrook led the Wildcats’ receiving corps with six catches for 64 yards and sophomore JaLewis Solomon had four catches for 64 yards.

Schley County Quarterback Jay Kanazawa (#14) completed 21 of 29 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown pass to help lead the Wildcats to victory.
Photo by Kaia McLennan

While the wide outs did their jobs, much of the Wildcats’ success on offense was the result of a solid ground game. Freshman running back Zayden Walker led the way with 86 rushing yards on 13 carries and two rushing touchdowns.

SCHS also got a superb defensive effort from several players, including Senior MLB Sidney Blackwell, who led the Wildcats in tackles with 11.  In addition to Blackwell’s success, Sophomore Free Safties Carson Westbrook, Kabreon Aldridge and Junior OLB Luke Forehand each had a total of six tackles on the night, while Sophomore MLB Jack Clark tallied five.

Both Walker and Junior DT Reggie Hinton each earned a sack in this game and Clark came up with an interception.

With 10:28 to go in the first quarter, the Wildcats got on the board first when Walker scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns from three yards out. The extra point by Javier Lopez was good and SCHS had a 7-0 lead.  Later on with 20 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wildcats increased their lead to 10-0 when Lopez kicked a 27-yard field goal.

Schley County Sophomore Wide Receiver Carson Westbrook (#18) is seen here fighting for yardage. Westbrook caught six passes for 64 yards in the Wildcats’ 24-6 victory over the Blue Devils.
Photo by Kaia McLennan

The Blue Devils responded with 8:39 left before halftime when running back Qua Cooper scored from four yards out. The extra point was no good, but MHS only trailed 10-6. Neither team could score for the remainder of the first half and the Wildcats went into the locker room with a slim 10-6 lead.

However, with 5:31 to go in the third quarter, the Wildcats were able to reestablish their double-digit lead when Kanazawa connected with Clinton Jackson for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Lopez’s extra point was good and SCHS led 17-6.

Neither team was able to change the scoreboard during the remainder of the third quarter and throughout much of the fourth, but with 1:38 to go in the game, the Wildcats secured their victory when Walker scored the second of his two rushing touchdowns on a 47-yard run from scrimmage.

The Wildcats will close out the regular season at winless Central (Talbotton) on Friday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m.